When: Thu., May 5, 9 p.m. 2016
As the side project of crystalline, breezy indie-rock quartet Ne-Hi—a Reader-approved, on-the-verge group of local dudes ready to break out this year with the release of their new record—Earring act as a pleasantly serene downer for the duo of vocalist-guitarist Jason Balla and drummer Alex Otake. Rhythms drag and crash cymbals ring out forever as stripped-clean guitars swell with simplicity and Balla’s lurking, stony vocals ache to the outer recesses of each track. Their debut full-length, Tunn Star (Fire Talk), is at its most hypnotic when Balla orchestrates crescendoing deep dives with his shoegaze-tinted guitar lines, and during the slogging repetition of a track like “Silt Fence,” the pair together create a dim landscape that feels at once hopeful and bleak. Track titles like “Sunset Forever” and “Pure Pleasure” suggest a kind of id-driven existence—sans gluttony but heavy on bliss—but Earring are darker than that, as they exhibit on the seven-plus-minute closer, “Midnight Pave,” which feels less like heading toward the light than wandering around in pitch blackness, arms stretched out, trying to find anything tangible to grab ahold of. Tonight was meant to be the record-release party for Tunn Star, but life happens and the records have yet to arrive from the pressing plant. Fear not, though! Earring will be hawking a seven-inch of new material via Manic Static, and you can preorder the full-length and get an advance-listen download code in the process.